The Ötztal Alps belong to a dry inner Alpine climatic zone. Precipitation happens most likely if masses of clouds are coming from the North. In general, the average amount of annual precipitation can be very low.
The Alpine climate has the following characteristics:
- The higher the altitude the lower the temperature (decreasing 0.6°C/100m), causing several periods of frost (temperature fluctuations of up to 50°C per day.
- Precipitation and snow are increasing in higher altitudes.
- Wind speed increases as well, just like the distribution of snow.
- The liveability of an area strongly depends on its slope exposure.
The 67 km long Ötztal, the Eastern Alps' longest side valley, is an area of very low precipitation. This central Alpine zone is encircled by mighty mountain ranges which protect the valley from climatic currents.
This inner Alpine dryness is caused by weather influences coming from the north-west. Humid north-eastern air masses cause rainfall on the northern side of the Alps. The average yearly precipitation amounts to 830 mm in Obergurgl and only to 675 mm in Vent. Generally, the summer months see more precipitation than the winter period. As a logical consequence the snow depth is quite low despite the high-altitude location.